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Sharon Gless (Cagney & Lacy - Queer as Folk)

with Designer Marilyn Lewis

Marilyn Lewis is truly a renaissance woman – there is nothing she cannot accomplish. Here is a woman who admittedly cannot cook; but she and hubby, Harry Lewis, established the chain of comfort food restaurants, Hamburger Hamlet, which they sold for $33 million in 1987. Currently they own and operate Kate Mantellini's and Gardens on Glendon, and Marilyn is responsible for most of their signature dishes.

Then, although she also cannot thread a needle, in the 80's she created the Cardinali Fashion Collection, which was a huge success. Among her unique designs was a metallic jumpsuit that Dyan Cannon wore on her first date with Cary Grant, and the chiffon floral dress with matching frilly umbrella that Marlo Thomas twirls during the opening credits of the classic TV series "That Girl".

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Brock Peters (Star Trek) with

Annette Bening at Library Awards

These designs, as well as dozens of other gorgeous garments, were displayed at the Beverly Hills Hotel, at a charity luncheon to benefit United Hostesses. Gracious President, Marilyn Gilfenbain said the response was so great, that they had to present a double header that afternoon – and we were pleased to be on the "second shift". What a fabulous idea! More charities should take advantage of this opportunity. But then, who else but a Marilyn Lewis could attract such a sell out crowd?

One of Marilyn's delighted fans, Sharon Gless best known for the TV series Cagney & Lacy, dropped by after the final wrap party for Queer As Folk at the Colley Estate in Hancock Park. She told us she is just completed a pilot for a new sitcom, entitled Thick And Thin – created by Paula Pell of Saturday Night Live. The story centers about a formerly fat woman coming to terms with her newly svelte life. No folks, Kristie Alley is not her co-star, but Jessica Capshaw is!

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Pulitzer Prize Winning Author Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)

with Veronique Peck (widow of Gregory Peck)

at Library Awards

We both chatted with Mr. Blackwell, who was overwhelmed with the fashion show. Coming from him, that is certainly a compliment. Sharon admitted she was once on his worst dressed list, but that she learned a valuable lesson from him. He said, "You should look more classy, and wear Chanel #5 perfume to emphasize your sophisticated image." And you know what, she did, and this has been her signature fragrance for years.

You learn so much at these fashion shows, don't you?

Speaking of stylish women, Annette Bening was a special guest at the L.A. Public Library Awards dinner, which raised $780,000 to benefit library enrichment programs and services. Pulitzer Prize winning author Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird), made a rare appearance to accept an award for capturing hearts and imaginations for more than 40 years. Others honored included humanitarian Lodwick M. Cook and City National Bank for their support of the L.A. Library. Also in attendance was another well bred lady, Veronique Peck (Gregory Peck's widow). She is the quintessential French female – sophisticated, elegant and erudite – a woman of substance on the Hollywood Beat.